Trump’s budget slashes child care for military families

Trump promised to improve child care for all working families. He’s not keeping his word.

❝ If President Trump has his way, more military families will struggle to find child care.

…Trump proposed a budget with a $100 million cut to child care and youth programs for military families. These programs provide early education programs to children aged 6 weeks to 12 years old as well as after-school and summer enrichment activities for school age children. In total, 700,000 children of military service members receive such services. The budget would defund these programs — despite calls for increased child care funding from military families and advocates.

The military has a model child care program designed to support the unique needs of military families. Ninety-five percent of programs are nationally accredited, and all teachers participate in training and professional development to improve their skills. Parents pay on a sliding scale based on their income so that programs are affordable for all service members.

And, yes, this is the sort of aid that should be available to all Americans.

❝ Cuts to child care could also have consequences for military spouses. About one in five military spouses are unemployed, often due to career interruptions from frequent relocations. Losing access to child care would become an added barrier for military spouses pursuing a career. In addition, many spouses rely on child care when the military parent is deployed to help them balance parenting alone.

❝ Throughout his campaign and into his presidency, Trump promised to bolster support for military personnel and to improve the affordability of child care for all working families. But Trump reneges on both of these promises in one fell swoop by proposing a cut to child care funding for military families.

I hope none of y’all expected Trump to come through on any promises that don’t involved tax cuts for corporations, the wealthiest Americans, racist and bigoted discrimination against all minorities including women. Trump thinks he owes nothing to folks who believed his blather, who voted for him.

Global Energy Demand Stumbles Again — Coal Is Dead


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❝ Global energy demand continued its sluggish rise last year as growth in Chinese consumption fell to its lowest in nearly two decades, while renewables flourished, BP said in a report…

Slower demand growth helped stall the acceleration of greenhouse gas emissions for a third year to levels not seen since the 1980s, but emissions remained well above targets set out globally under the 2015 Paris accord on climate change.

❝ Coal’s share in the energy mix declined to its lowest since 2004 at around 28 percent, while production of the highly polluting fossil fuel saw its largest ever annual drop at 6.2 percent…

❝ China’s energy demand growth in 2015 and 2016, 1.2 and 1.3 percent respectively, although still the strongest in the world, marked its lowest over a two-year period since 1997-98…

❝ Cheaper and abundant gas supplies in the United States and China’s drive to switch to cleaner feedstock for its power plants led to a 1.7 percent drop in demand for coal, the most pollutant fossil fuel.

“It feels to me like we are seeing a decisive break in coal relative to the past,” BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale said…

❝ Renewables such as solar and wind power were the fastest-growing source of energy, rising by 12 percent and accounting for a third of the overall growth in demand…China, meanwhile, overtook the United States for the first time as the largest producer of renewable power.

The slowing growth in energy demand, the shift to cleaner fuels and energy efficiency meant carbon emissions grew by 0.1 percent last year, similar to the prior two years, making it the lowest three-year average for emissions growth since 1981-83.

Dullards like Trump, his peers, his followers, are fighting a vain and wasteful retreat – while blathering all the while about returning 19th Century glory to rustbelt industry. The only exportable segment of our traditional industrial base – capital goods – was sold off by conglomerate profiteers decades ago. The mostly foreign-based companies who bought up the companies whose machines make other machines – are rolling in profits while the backwards-looking crowd whines. Perish the thought they should notice it was the American one-percenters who sold them out.

Here’s a link to the whole report.

40 questions for Jeff Sessions: Will Senators ask any/all of these? Which will be answered?

❝ US Attorney General…Jeff Sessions will testify in open session Tuesday afternoon before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

It will be his first public appearance on the Hill since Jan. 10, when he falsely said at his confirmation hearing: “I did not have communications with the Russians.”

❝ Here are a few of the subjects the nation’s chief law enforcement officer is likely to be pressed on during his testimony, which will take place in the same hearing room where Comey appeared last week:

Does Sessions believe Trump’s version of events over Comey’s? Does he take contemporaneous notes about his conversations with the president?

Sessions was involved in selecting Christopher Wray as FBI director. Did Sessions discuss either Comey’s termination or the Russia investigation during his job interview?

Does Sessions know if the tapes exist? If the tapes exist, does he believe the president is obligated to release them?

It goes on and on with sensible, questions requiring firsthand knowledge to answer – or fear to answer. I’m looking forward to seeing how many of these questions get asked by our leading Senators?

RTFA for the whole assembly of questions.